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Reliable Brands for all Reasons, Served Tastefully in all Seasons.

From the beginning, Ocean Garden Products, Inc. (OGP) has striven to do a lot more than just sell seafood. It has no zeal for making a quick deal. Instead, what is of real appeal is building long-term relationships with people who believe in always providing their customers with quality seafood products.

The top end of the company's client list reads like a Who's Who in the foodservice and retail supermarket business sectors. From well-known family restaurants to leading hotel chains, from Chinese take-outs and mainstream QSRs to more sophisticated dining establishments, Ocean Garden's brands are ordered by name time and again. Premium-minded buyers of all kinds -- big and small -- have become accustomed to depending on the worry-free quality of tasty products supplied by OGP on a consistent basis.

These days any faceless trader, speculator or non-seafood specialist equipped with only a facsimile machine or access to the Internet can fax or e-mail offers that sound too good to be true. That's because they usually are just that.

Buyers run the risk of being burned for the sake of trying to save a nickel or less per pound offered by somebody they have never met. Unknown quantities often translate to unknown quality. With frozen shrimp and seafood orders routinely pricing out in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, who can afford to leave that kind of money to chance on the word of strangers?

Ocean Garden insists on doing business the tried and true, old-fashioned way -- face to face, with dignity and grace. It shuns the commodity business mentality that far too many others have adopted, preferring instead to embrace the responsibility of reliably providing customers with fairly-priced premium foodstuffs. What you see offered by Ocean Garden is what you get.

Up Close and Personal

"In order to sell our seafood products professionally and successfully, relationships between the sales representative and the buyer must not only be developed -- they must be enhanced on every sales call," emphasizes John Filose, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "Simply stating your prices and inventory offerings via e-mail brings the art of selling down to the lowest possible level. Personal salesmanship is required."

As such, OGP's sales force is usually in the field -- not chair-bound behind a desk with a phone receiver stuck to its ear.

Making personal calls is a lot easier when what is being offered is something that the customer really wants to buy. Highly profitable shrimp is a valuable item that smart menu-makers never want to be short of, especially after the Ocean Garden sales representative provides him with new recipe ideas for attractive plate presentations.

Automobile industrialist and time/motion assembly line genius Henry Ford used to tell prospective buyers that they could have any color car they wanted, as long as it was black. Ocean Garden's palette is a lot more colorful. Customers can take their pick of Mexican green headless shrimp (a generic term for raw, shell-on headless varieties usually packed in 5-pound or 2-kg. frozen blocks), whites, browns, pinks and Asian black tigers.

There's no shortage of brands to choose from. Mexican shrimp are produced under six labels according to color, species, coastal origin and grade of quality: OCEAN GARDEN, PRIDE OF MEXICO, COMPASS, OCEAN GLO (all premium), OCEAN SHELL and MARK (standard brands).

Non-Mexican shrimp are distributed under the following brand names: ASIAN GARDEN, CREST, OCEAN STAR and INDONESIAN GARDEN. The company's highly regarded canned abalone is marketed under the prestigious CALMEX brand.

IQF/P&D = Convenience

Mexican IQF/P&D shrimp are peeled and deveined by hand and inspected before and after the flash freezing process to assure uniformity and the absence of broken pieces.

Shrimp are sorted by color and accurately sized. Each piece is weighed only after the shell and tail have been removed. The result is more shrimp per pound than the same size of shell-on shrimp.

IQF shrimp are frozen with a protective glaze that locks in naturally moist, yet firm meat texture and fresh taste. They are easy to use from the frozen state, or they may also be quickly thawed. Either way, only the exact amount required need be used or displayed. No additional labor is needed for thawing, peeling or deveining.

Ideally suited for both foodservice and retail applications, IQF shrimp may be used to accent pastas, soups, crepes or salads. In the retail deli case, they may be attractively presented in tray packs or in original 11/2-1b. or 3-lb. polybag packaging. Numerous specifications are available, ranging from units of U/15 per pound up to 51/60 per pound.

Shell-on Shrimp

Both shell-on and easy-to-peel IQF Mexican Shell-on shrimp in traditional 5-lb. and new 2-lb. packs are available packed under the OCEAN GARDEN brand.

White shrimp from Mexico's West Coast is Ocean Garden's most popular product.

White shrimp are the main type of warmwater species consumed in the USA. They have grayish-white shells that turn pink when cooked. The shells of farm-raised white shrimp are lighter grayish-white in hue and not as thick as their wild-caught counterparts.

In general, cooked wild or farmed white shrimp have flesh with pink skin tones. Wild-caught whites have a sweet taste and firm, almost "crunchy" meat. Cultured whites have a milder taste and softer texture. Shrimp in the wild feed on crustaceans and seaweeds which enrich their flavor and strengthen their shells.

Mexican brown shrimp are harvested in the Gulf of Mexico/East Coast, as well as along the country's Pacific West Coast. Their light brown or tan shells turn into a brilliant coral color after being cooked. The meat is white with coral skin tones.

Gulf of Mexico browns have the most distinctive taste of all shrimp, according to many connoisseurs. They have a full, briny flavor, to be sure.

The habitat of shrimp determines its taste. Brown shrimp from areas along the west coast of Mexico are especially prized in Japan for their crisp texture and brilliant color.

Pink shrimp are wild-caught in the same areas frequented by Gulf Mexican browns, as well as in Caribbean and Central American waters. Their light pink shells have a pearl-like texture, while some display a distinguishing pink dot on the head. When cooked, the shells turn into a deeper shade of pink, and the meat becomes white with deeper skin tones. Pink shrimp are further described as having a full sweet flavor and a firm, dense texture.

Heads Up for Head-ons

While traditional markets for Mexican head-on shrimp lie beyond North America, the product line is gaining popularity in the United States.

"In addition to Asia and Europe, where demand is strong, we expect to sell more head-on shrimp in the United States because ethnic Asian markets there continue to expand," said John Filose. "We offer them in 2-kilogram packs as well as a new 800-gram pack."

Tail-on Shrimp

Cooked P&D, tall-on shrimp offer the advantage of versatility as they are ready to eat upon thawing. Banquet managers and other caterers order the product in large quantities.

Cooked & Peeled

Folks call them bay, salad, tiny and baby shrimp. Whatever the name, these flavorful pink shrimp are found on countless menus and in numerous seafood and delicatessen cases. The quality and taste give added value and greater appeal to most dishes. Coldwater varieties are packed with sizing accuracy in convenient bags and are sourced from the US Pacific Northwest and Norway.

P&D Rock Shrimp

A unique addition to Ocean Garden's product range is Mexican peeled and deveined Rock Shrimp, which have a sweet taste and a lobster-like texture or perhaps is a cross between a wild shrimp and crayfish. A deep-water "cousin" of pink, brown and white shrimp, they are fished year-round in some areas of the Gulf of Mexico. After being cooked, the meat is plump and white with red skin tones.

Rock shrimp are similar in girth to medium-sized, coldwater shrimp, with the largest averaging 21 to 25 pieces per pound. Most come to market raw and peeled, since their tough, rock-hard shell is most easily removed commercially.

P&D Blocks

Then there are peeled and deveined blocks of Mexican shrimp offered in 5-lb. boxes, as are raw headless, shell-on blocks. Sizes offered range from U/10 (40 to 50 pieces per box) to 91/110 (455 to 550).

US Domestic Shrimp

Ocean Garden Products also carries white and brown shrimp caught from Louisiana and Texas waters during their annual summer seasons.

Black Tigers

Black tiger shrimp are distributed in 4-lb. frozen blocks under the Asian Garden label. Sourced primarily in Thailand, Indonesia and India, the farm-raised variety features distinctive black-and-gray striped shell markings when raw. After cooking the shell turns bright red and meat serves up white with deep red skin tones. Sizes range from U/12 to 61/70.

Black tigers have a higher moisture content than white, pink or brown shrimp. As a result, their flavor is milder and their texture less dense than most other shrimp. Some raw tigers exhibit a bluish shade and are thus referred to as "blue tigers." They are the same species as the black tiger, but their feed does not have the iron content that causes the darker pigmentation.

Lobster Tails

Ocean Garden's Mexican lobster tails present plenty of sales opportunities for both restaurateurs and retail operators. Two species -- one from the Caribbean and the other from Baja California -- provide those whom indulge in upscale shellfish with the luxurious flavor that only lobster can offer. Their white meat texture is richly moist and tender, while the taste is sweet. During the cooking process the shell becomes a brilliant red, cradling the luscious white meat in an eye-appealing manner that greatly accentuates table presentations.

The product is promoted as a high-value addition to any restaurant menu, whether broiled, grilled, steamed, baked or poached. Recipe suggestions include serving the product in spiced-up Caribbean or Asian styles as well as in the traditional broiled format of North America and Europe.

Whole Cooked Lobster

For those who want it all, Ocean Garden Products supplies Mexican whole cooked lobster in 10-lb. boxes. Each one is carefully sized -- from 1 lb. to 4 lbs. or more -- cooked and frozen with a protective glaze before being individually wrapped to extend shelf life. Meat yields after cooking are said to be greater that that typically realized from highly regarded Maine lobsters.

This spiny lobster variety is caught in the pristine blue waters off Baja California. They may be served either hot or cold, and presented split or whole. Split lobsters can be garnished with lemon and parsley, tray packed, and offered with any number of pre-packaged sauces for added convenience.

Grande Calamari and More

While shellfish is Ocean Garden's principal stock in trade, the company also offers a select line of fish fillets ranging from snapper and ocean white fish to Grande Calamari The last mentioned product is described as a "snowy white, mild flavored, tenderized natural steak that comes from the larger species of squid."

Easy to prepare, Grande Calamari can be baked, marinated, broiled, deep fried, grilled or sauteed. On the foodservice front, the fillets lend themselves to the making of appetizers, sandwiches or entrees. In retail stores, whether displayed on ice or tray packed, they appeal to cost-conscious consumers and those looking for a quick and easy, though healthy eating experience.

The Ocean Garden list of high quality frozen seafood products also includes quality Norwegian salmon portions and sashimi loins which are sold under the Storm Seafood brand.

"The reputation of our customers grow when they distinguish their seafood from the competition's by using our brands," says Dixie Blake, Marketing Manager.

Ocean Garden, Storm Seafood, Form Strategic Partnership

In 1997 Ocean Garden Products embarked on a unique relationship with Storm Seafood, a company established by the 3 largest enterprises involved in the production, processing and sales and marketing of farm-raised salmon from Norway.

Exclusive distribution of Storm's Norwegian Salmon products in the USA has proved beneficial to both firms. Storm's superb quality Norwegian Salmon Singles -- vacuum packed single portions of frozen salmon fillets -- have become a hit with major restaurant and retail chains and warehouse clubs that want product quality and consistency as well as labor savings and repeat business.

Storm also packs high grade sushi and sashimi loins using techniques developed by their most discerning clients in Japan. These frozen loins are popular with Japanese sushi houses in the US, particularly in light of recent USDA requirements that salmon must be frozen before it can be served raw.
COPYRIGHT 1999 E.W. Williams Publications, Inc.
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Comment:Reliable Brands for all Reasons, Served Tastefully in all Seasons.
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 1999
Words:2087
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